Despite the conclusion of yesterday’s press conference for the gold, silver and bronze medal winners of the team event -- when Ulla Saltzgeber was questioned about her recent and on going problems with a positive drug test on Rusty, a matter clearly upon which, Ulla had NO Comment -- she rode a terrific Grand Prix Special to further her ambition to take another championship and to retain her European title.
Rusty showed such tremendous elevation, particularly in the piaffe passage sections of the test, frankly, it was awesome. The combination took the class with 80.36%
Lisa Wilcox, riding Relevant as an individual competitor for the United States, produced yet another wonderful spectacle of how to ride a smooth, almost faultless test. She was 2nd in this class, as she was individually in the first part of these championships. She was awarded 78.32%.
Top Spanish combination, Beatriz Ferrer Salat aboard Beauvalais rode another professional competent test, but unlike yesterday the combination dropped a place to fourth position in this class. However, Beatriz is still in 3rd position to keep possession of the individual bronze medal overall. She obtained a score of 75.24% in this Grand Prix Special.
The third place in the class today went to Bjorsells Briar 899 ridden by Jan Brink, who had a brilliant test to make a challenge for the overall bronze individual medal. Tomorrow will be an interesting tussle between Jan of Sweden and Beatriz of Spain.
For the first time for several years, all the British team members were in the top 25 positions in the first test. Therefore all four qualified to ride in the Grand Prix Special. The best of the British quartet was Emma Hindle who scored 73.68%. Her ride was every bit as good as her efforts in the team part of the championships. “Wie Weltmeyer is a strong horse, and it has taken a lot of patience and help from many people to get him to this point in his career” Emma said afterwards. She was seventh out of the 25 starters.
Day four of this championship will not necessarily be a foregone conclusion. Will Ulla or Lisa win this Championship? There are collectively only a few points between them, and if Lisa Wilcox rides out of her skin in the Kur, the final class for the Europeans, she could be the first ever European Champion from The United States.
By Bernard Simpson
Eurodressage Scores Grand Prix Special of the 2003 EDC
Germany Take Gold; Spain Win Silver, But What a Battkle for Bronze at 2003 European Dressage Championships
Convincing Start of 78% for Ulla Salzgeber at 2003 European Dressage Championships